UK start-up Chatable apps has announced the launch of what it calls the world’s first universal hearing aid app.

Using neuroscience-led AI, it claims to enable those suffering from hearing loss to hear one-to-one conversations clearly by combining a smartphone and standard earbuds.

Mark Cuban, a US investor on Shark Tank, America’s version of Dragons’ Den, was an early investor in the app.

“Chatable is using AI to address growing health care inequality by providing an affordable hearing aid app that helps with conversation,” explained Cuban.

The technology was developed by Dr Andrew Simpson PhD, an auditory neuroscientist and founding member of ChatableApps, based in Kent.

The technology is said to reverse engineer the neural processes of the hearing brain, making conversation clearer. Its pre-clinical trials suggest 86% of users agree the technology outperforms a traditional hearing aid.

Once downloaded, the user moves two sliders up and down to find their desired balance. The volume boost slider enables clear and loud voice, while the background noise slider removes background noise, allowing users to hear conversations no matter where they are.

“Our unique ground-up AI makes our universal hearing aid the first app capable of addressing the global hearing epidemic,” said Giles Tongue, ChatableApps CEO.

“Following successful preclinical trials we have decided to launch immediately due to urgent demand from audiologists to help people struggling because of Coronavirus. With many unable to lipread due to face masks or unable to visit a hearing clinic in an emergency, our app provides a lifeline that will help people communicate.”